There was little reason to doubt the sincerity of the message that Coach Trent Bray gave to Dedrick Young the week before choosing Nebraska. Coach Bray told the talented linebacker that they liked his speed and his ability to go sideline to sideline. Young is a talented, two-way recruit who immediately upgrades the athleticism at the outside linebacker position.
There are some things that stand out just translating the running back film to the linebacker position in college. First is the quickness. Young gets to places a step or two ahead of everyone else even when there are multiple converging tacklers. Second, the acceleration that Young has when he gets to the part in his stride to really open up he is rarely caught from behind.
But looking at his defensive film you’d think that a guy with that much physical ability could get lazy, react late and rely on his athleticism to make up for it. Not Young. Young in instinctive. You can get a sense of where he is looking by watching his helmet and he’s looking at the right spots, taking the right steps and then the athleticism kicks in.
Young does it all as a linebacker as well. Some might just be the pass rushing, 4-3 WILL off of the edge which you can definitely see Young doing. But, you have to like what Young does chasing down plays from the back side, taking the right angles to cut off a ball carrier and then he is really an under-rated big-hitter.
Nebraska clearly gets the guy that they needed to bring in to bolster team speed on the defensive side of the football. But Young is more than just an athletic specimen. He can really play the linebacker position and when you can get the instinctual recruits that have Young’s athletic ability it’s a special combination.